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First Freightliner Cascadia hits the road in New Zealand

The first Freightliner Cascadia to land in New Zealand has hit the road for McKillop Contracting.


Alex ‘Tex’ McKillop was keen to get into the all-new conventional truck, which landed in the country late last year before going through an extensive build up including liberal amounts of stainless steel and a dramatic green glow lighting package.

Purchased through Trevor McCallum at CablePrice in Christchurch, the 116 Cascadia is hauling refrigerated goods between McKillop Contracting’s home base in Dunedin and Christchurch and between Christchurch and Invercargill for TSI Logistics on a two-driver rotating shift and clocks up a total of 1200km each day.

It joins two Freightliner Argosys and two 114 Coronados at McKillop Contracting, a company that McKillop started 19 years ago.

The Cascadia has made a very positive impression starting from when McKillop took it for its first run.

“I love it,” he says, “It is a big step forward, a game changer. The refinement, the driver comfort and the way the engine and gearbox work together is really impressive.” 

The company says its trucks stand out on the roads of the South Island due to their green glow lighting, which emanates from beneath the truck and out of the engine bay.

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The Cascadia even features glowing FREIGHTLINER branding on the rear cab extenders. There is also a large amount of stainless steel, which adds additional presence, and plenty of yellow LED lights.

“I just come up with all these crazy ideas and Phil at Fitzsimon Motor and Engineering Services in Christchurch just makes it happen,” explains McKillop.

“A lot of work goes into it and the end result is brilliant,” he adds.

The McKillop Contracting Cascadia sports a 13-litre Detroit DD13 engine that generates 505hp (377kW) and 1850lb-ft (2508Nm) and is linked to a DT12 12-speed automated manual transmission.

The Cascadia features the Detroit Connect safety package, with adaptive cruise control and Autonomous emergency braking, which can detect and brake for pedestriansand also features a driver airbag and lane departure warning system.


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